Infectious Disease Specialist Suggests No Fighting, Spitting In Hockey If Play Resumes

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An infectious disease specialist believes that if the National Hockey League were to resume, it would have to take extra precautions to protect the players going forward.

The doctor relayed a number of suggestions to TSN’s Ryan Rishaug on Monday:

  • Full face shields, potentially modified to further reduce the spread of droplets
  • No fighting
  • No scrums after whistles for linesmen to break up
  • Coaches to practice social distancing and wear face masks on the bench
  • Wingers to maintain two feet of distance on faceoffs instead of the traditional crossing of sticks and leaning into the same space
  • No spitting on ice or the bench

Rishaug noted that the no spitting or fighting would actually have to be approved by the NHL Players’ Association before they could be implemented.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly doesn’t necessarily agree that such changes would be needed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We would consider anything our infectious disease experts and advisors might recommend,” Daly told Rishaug. “But I’m not sure given the circumstances of our game that any dramatic modifications will really be necessary.”